A workshop on ‘Climate Change and Sustainable Water Resource Development in Karnali Basin’ was organized at the Jumla of the Karnali basin in western Nepal on the auspicious occasion of the World Environment Day 2017. The workshop was attended by 75 people representing the district administration office, district coordination committee, relevant government line agencies from Jumla, Kalikot and the Mugu districts of the basin including civil society groups, journalists, and academic institutions. The workshop was jointly organized by The Small Earth Nepal (SEN) and Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM) with the support of Asia Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN), USAID PANI project and Nepal Climate Change Support Program (NCCSP).
Presenting as a keynote speech to the opening ceremony of the workshop, Dr. Madan Lall Shrestha, APN Project Leader and Academician at Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) shared some of the research findings on climatic trends in Nepal. He highlighted that the warming rate is higher in high mountain areas. He also mentioned that as water is the part and parcel of the Nature, the theme “Connecting People to Nature” of the World Environment Day-2017 is more relevant with the present workshop, which mainly deals with the water issues in the Karnali river basin. Mr. Narayan Prasad Sapkota, Chief District Officer (CDO) of Jumla, appealed to the people to conserve the water sources and adapt their lifestyles with the changing condition of climate, but not harming the nature. He urged the research community to come up with some substantial solutions to mitigate the climate change impacts. Speaking at the session, Mr. Hari Narayan Belbase, Local Development Officer (LDO) commented on the unplanned infrastructure development that has ruined the forest and water resources of the Karnali basin. Mr. Jeeban Panthi, Research Coordinator at SEN, highlighted the need of collaborative action to address the environmental problems the country is facing in recent years. Mr. Piyush Dahal, Program Coordinator at SEN, presented the research finding that SEN has been carrying out in the Karnali basin with the support APN. The major results of the project are available here. Mr. Bhola Dhakal from USAID PANI project and Mr. Krishna Bahadur Shahi from NCCSP shared their project activities related to water resource management in the Karnali basin. The available hydro-meteorological stations in the Karnali basin and the basic of the weather monitoring science were shared by Mr. Nirajan Sapkota, Regional Chief of Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM). Finally, participants discussed in group the existing and potential water based adaptation strategies and presented to the forum.
Karnali river basin in western Nepal is a trans-boundary basin involving China, Nepal and India, and it is the largest basin (45000 sq. km) in terms of the total area lying within Nepal. Asian Development Bank (2012) ranks the basin the most vulnerable to climate change mainly due to increasing climate extreme and low capacity of people to cope with the changes. In recent years, there are some climate change research and water resource management projects being carried out by government as well as other development partners. Therefore, it’s time to share the outcomes and results to the field level stakeholders in a way that they understand and will be able to implement in their work. In addition, the workshop also provided a platform to those knowledge and development partners to come together and share their project information, which is very instrumental in avoiding the duplicity, if any, and build on the project activities based on the available knowledge.